What are the best wedding albums?

photo album

You’ve been busy selecting your signature cocktails, the perfect dress and the most beautiful florals for your bouquet. Another important task—finding a gorgeous photo album to chronicle your wedding journey—can sometimes get lost amidst the other priorities. This is especially true since we tend to think of getting a photo album after the wedding—and even then it can fall through the cracks. That’s why it’s a great idea to get ahead of it all and find an album that inspires you to organize all your photos and create a special keepsake at the same time.

Beyond your professional photos, you’re probably going to want something to look back on that’s a little more concrete than just the highlight reel on your best friend’s Insta story. A beautifully bound book—filled with a mix of images from your photographer, candid shots from friends, and fun photo-booth pics from the reception—is something you’ll cherish for many years to come. A wedding photo album is also a great personalized gift for friends or family members who are getting married themselves—they’ll think of you every time they open it.

Once you’ve selected the photographer of your dreams and had the wedding of a lifetime, your journey to keepsake wedding photos still isn’t made. It’s time to create the best wedding photo album to show off all of those amazing photos. It’s a task that comes well after the excitement of your big day, but still, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly as you’ll want a book of photos to cherish for decades to come.

Looking for the best Wedding Photographer in Melbourne? Check out our ultimate list here.

Here’s a guide to creating the very best wedding photo album, from start to finish.

Consider your options.

It’s the easiest (although usually pricier) idea to select a wedding album package from your wedding photographer simply. You’ll likely be offered this option after your wedding photos are processed and edited, but understand that commissioning your photographer to create a custom wedding album isn’t your only option. Beyond creating an album from scratch yourself, there are also online companies, such as Artifact Uprising, Mixbook Photo Co., and Shutterfly, dedicated to designing and delivering custom wedding albums that you may choose as well. As with all of your wedding decisions, think about what’s most important to you. For example, do you just need something quick and painless, even if it costs more money? Or, do you want to stay within a certain budget and you don’t mind doing a bit more of the legwork to save a few bucks? These questions will guide your next steps. 

photo album

Do your research.

Once you’ve settled on how you’ll create your wedding photo album, it’s time to start thinking about how you want it to look. The best way to create a sense of this is by looking at completed wedding albums. Recently married friends and family members are great resources, as well as your photographer, who will likely have some examples of their best wedding photo albums. Even if you don’t think you’ll hire your photographer to create your album, it’s a good idea to look at what they have to offer.

You should also search online for different album styles. Although this won’t give you the experience holding an album, and looking from cover to cover, you still might steal some ideas about the overall aesthetic that appeals to you.

Pore over your wedding snaps.

Wedding albums are, not surprisingly, a collection of your favourite, most “Aww”-worthy photos from your big day. That’s why you need to take some time to look over your wedding photos, ideally with your partner and maybe even a few friends. Just because of the sheer volume of images you’ll receive from your photographer, this step might be a little daunting. Like, at what other time in your life, will you be presented with hundreds of images of yourself? So, don’t rush it. You might need to come back to it several times to figure out which photos are your favourites. Of course, you want to select the ones where you and you’re beloved look just gorgeous, but you also want to think a little about telling a story. Be sure you have photos from every stage of the day, including behind-the-scenes getting ready images, the ceremony, your guests, the reception and the send-off. There might be some photos that aren’t the most Hollywood, but they effectively tell a story about that moment of the day that you find you’ll want to include in your album.

Here’s a quick list of some of the must-have photos you’re sure to want to include for the very best wedding photo albums:

  • You and your wedding entourage: Maybe you had matching robes to don while getting ready, or maybe there’s a great shot of your crew surrounding you as you put on your wedding attire. Most weddings will include this one, amazing shot of a bride or groom and their closest, closest friends, so be sure to include this.
  • Sweet family moments before the ceremony: You know this shot: Your mother tenderly fixing your hair, or maybe your dad pinning your boutonniere. Your siblings are hugging you. These types of candid, family moments are the kind of precious moments to include.
  • The first look: Whether this moment happened before the ceremony, or as one of you walked down the aisle, you’ll want to be sure to enshrine the priceless reaction of you and your beloved meeting on your wedding day.
  • The first kiss: A no-brainer, but you must include! This is your first official moment as a married couple, so be sure you choose your favourite snap of this occasion.
  • Parent-child dances: If you or your partner were lucky enough to take a turn around the dance floor with a parent, don’t forget to document this moment in your wedding album.
  • Dance, dance, dance shots: You and your college friends in a circle singing your favourite song; your aunt and uncle getting down to line dance or maybe your flower girl stealing the show on the dance floor. In addition to the sweet and romantic wedding memories, you’ll want to remember all the fun you had as well, so don’t forget these great action shots.

A great send-off: Bubbles, rice, confetti or sparklers, the send-off moment is brilliant and full of love, so be sure you choose your favourite from the end of the day to cap off a great album.

Make some tough decisions.

Your wedding was the best day of your life, filled with all the people you love the most, so don’t be surprised when you find the job of editing down your cornucopia of great wedding photos to just 50 images or so excruciatingly difficult. Call on your superior prioritizing skills (honed after months of wedding planning, no doubt) to pick the best of the best wedding photos for your album. Don’t worry if some photos of dear loved ones or fun moments are left out—you can order these as single prints if you love them, but they don’t fit into your wedding album. 

Choose the type of album you’ll assemble.

In a digital world, making an analog wedding album means you’ve got lots of options. Select an online company that specializes in creating the best wedding photo albums, a more general online photo album maker, or purchase a traditional wedding photo album from a crafts store to turn into an album that you’ll fully customize.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll want to consider how you want the final product to look. There are many decisions to make at this stage, including the colour and material of the album cover. Some wedding albums look more like coffee table photo books, with one or more high-quality images splashed across the front, while others will look more like hardcover reference book in a solid, muted colour, typically with your name and wedding date engraved somewhere on the front cover. You might also consider a softcover wedding album, which will also allow for your images to grace the cover.

All of these cosmetic details should be reflective of your wedding. A more bohemian, airy wedding might call for a lighter wedding album colour and a softer material. A traditional, black-tie ceremony would be best memorialized with a firmer cover and a more substantial shade.

Consider creating smaller albums for family.

Before you finalize your wedding album details, decide if you’ll also be creating smaller albums at the same time. For example, a short brag book for the parents of the newly-married couple, a personalized photo album for members of the wedding party or any other smaller album you might be thinking of gifting to someone special. These albums would only include about ten images and are substantially smaller in stature than a traditional wedding photo album — think something you could easily slip into a purse.

If you do decide on additional albums, it’ll save time and maybe even a few dollars to create and order them as you’re ordering your main wedding album.

Organize your photos.

For this step, you’ll want a digital folder with all the images you’ll be including in the album. Be sure you’ve secured high-resolution images without watermarks from your photographer at this point. Although your photographer will likely have the images in chronological order, don’t feel beholden to that order. Mix them around, group together images containing certain people, organize by emotion (i.e. romantic, sentimental or funny) or any system or non-system that makes sense for you and your partner.

The best wedding photo albums are reflective of your memories of the day, so go with your instincts on which images look great next to what other images. If you’re laying out your images digitally using a photo album maker, be sure to vary the image orientation, so you don’t end up with pages and pages of horizontal images, then pages and pages of vertical images. You can also play around with image sizes on the page layout to find creative ways to display your photos. Some might look great as a full-page, while others might be better suited framed against a wide background.

Resist the temptation to place more than one image per page—each image deserves to be the star of its very own page in your wedding album!

Check out our extensive list of Wedding Photographers in Melbourne to help capture your special moments.

Best Wedding Photo Album Creators

PikPerfect Wedding Albums

Pros: You simply upload your wedding photos and choose your favourite album and design style, and their professional design experts do the rest with unlimited free revisions. That means you no longer have to sit in front of your computer wondering how to arrange your album. The result is a beautifully designed heirloom-quality album at an affordable price, which explains why so many couples and wedding photographers love the service.

Cons: The design service and professional printing process can mean a longer wait time until you receive your album. Once you approve your album design, printing and shipping can take around 10-14 days vs. five days for some DIY online wedding photo album creators (though they do offer an expedited option for an additional $25).

MILK Photo Books

Pros: As one of the trendiest photo bookmakers available, this service offers very high-end finishings and add-ons, including leather covers and presentation boxes. They also guarantee vibrant, true to colour printing on archival quality paper.

Cons: But you don’t get this kind of luxury without paying more. As the most expensive option among these five creators, an album here can run upwards of several hundred dollars. The layout editor is also less flexible, not allowing for personalization of their (albeit lovely) pre-made layouts.

Artifact Uprising

Pros: With their fabric covers and high-quality book jackets, the photo books made through this service have a high end, luxury look, and with up to 200 pages allowed in the album, it’s no wonder this is one of the top wedding album services online.

Cons: Unlike with other services, there is no choice of paper, taking away the opportunity to select a paper that will best compliment your images. This can lead to colour distortion and fading in some cases. The album editor is also limiting, constraining creators to choosing between pre-made layouts rather than designing new page layouts themselves.

Shutterfly

Pros: The brand new Make My Book service makes this album creator the perfect option for the busy bride. All you have to do is upload your photos, send them off to a designer and within three days, you’ll have a layout returned to you ready for your edits. Additionally, if you decide to design your book, their idea pages can help you along the way.

Cons: Despite the ease of creating the book, we have read some reports of delayed shipping and deliveries as well as some quality hiccups. Just be sure to read recent reviews and contact customer support if you have any questions.

Mixbook

Pros: With the largest available photo book coming in at a maximum of 399 pages, this is the photo album for brides who want to include every single image from their big day. Using the autofill option and fully customizable layout, you will surely be able to design a photo book that looks exactly the way you want it to.

Cons: Unlike several of the other photo book creators that are intended specifically for significant events like weddings, this album creator produces only standard photo books without the options of high-end cover finishes.

AdoramaPix

Pros: Because all of their albums are flat lay, landscape-oriented photos can cover the entire expanse of the photo book without the centre portion getting lost in the fold. Additionally, their layouts are fully customizable, allowing you to change the sizes of photo and text boxes to meet your preferences. This service also offers a selection of papers, which give your images either a dreamy, faded appearance or a bold colour pop. Hint: This is the creator that gave me my perfect wedding album!

Cons: Because the layout designer offers so much customization, it can get a bit time consuming and overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with similar platforms. Additionally, each photo book is limited to 100 pages, meaning some photos might not make the cut.

What does a photographer mean by the “standard” album?

When you enquire about wedding photography, most photographers offer one or several wedding album options. Some photographers include an album in their packages, and other photographers offer an album as an optional extra.

Quite often, the wedding package includes the photographer’s “standard” album. This could either be an album that allows you to put your wedding story together, or it will be a starter album with only a small number of images. If your photographer includes a premium album in their packages, such as a Queensberry or Jorgensen album, please make sure you check the size of the album that’s included as well as the number of photographs. They might show you amazing large albums, however, the “standard” album is only 20×20 cm with 30 photographs. If you then want to upgrade to a bigger album, expect to pay £1000 upwards for the larger album after your wedding.

At Vines of the Yarra Valley we have compiled a list of the Best Photographers in Melbourne to help you choose who captures your magical day.

What are the different types of wedding album?

Album styles and differences

Different photographers might talk about digital books, photo books, coffee table books, traditional albums, matted albums and so on, lustre photo paper, glossy, fine art paper. These are all professional terms for the different products on the market. I think the best way is to see the albums and to touch them, and if it makes you go “ooooh – I want that one” – you’ve found the album style perfect for you. There is no right or wrong, and there are simply different tastes and products available to match yours.

Different album styles, different price tags

The cheapest option is a photo book. They are relatively cheap to produce, and you can even design them yourself with some online photo book companies. However, they don’t have that wedding album look and feel, and they might not last very long if a lot of people want to look at it. The pages are likely to be very thin and bendy, and the paper is much lower quality than that in proper wedding albums.

Brides, and the weddings they plan, are infinitely unique — as are the photo books that preserve their memories. Using these album creator pros and cons, you can build the album that is perfect for you and that you will treasure for decades to come!

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